The enemies of fitness – overwork, stress, lack of time – have you surrounded. Fight back by getting the best home gym you can afford.

Avoid Big Box Stores

These stores carry many lines of product that are lower end. They are simply mass-produced products built with hefty margins in mind as many lower-grade parts are being used. These products are designed to look nice, but are not really for performance. Think of them as holiday gifts because they usually need to be replaced once a year. They’re the reason when you imagine home fitness equipment and your mind drifts to YouTube’s funny fail compilations and that rickety underfoot feeling your gym’s cardio machines don’t give you. This also becomes one of the biggest reasons that it ends up being an eyesore in your home and you sway from your exercise program. Rather visit specialty fitness equipment stores to get the lasting gear you’ll pass onto your kids after you’ve drenched it in gallons of your own salty rain. These also offer better warranties and after-sales customer service that you’ll find invaluable in the years to come.

Set Parameters Early

Write down both your goals and price before you start shopping. Have an idea where you want to put it and come up with a list of questions to ask the salesperson. This will better prepare you for your purchase decision and prevent you from arriving home with regret and debt.

Do Not Plan To Upgrade Later

This will set you up for failure because you’ll settle for something low end that will lack the stability and features needed to push your enthusiasm forward. If your first experience is not a good one, you may not stick to it, so never go low-grade. Rather choose something that is in the middle of the road quality-wise or look for a financing option to help you achieve that end.

Measure Out Your Space

Estimations lead to mistakes and a cluttered workout area. Bust out the tape measure and bring the exact dimensions with you when you go shopping for your equipment. You will be surprised by how much you can accomplish in a very small space with all the shapes and sizes of products that are available now. These dimensions will also help the salesperson help you find out what’s possible.

Budget Time & Money

Always ask for sale prices and when sales are coming. Guys do like to shop very quickly, but plan to dedicate at least an hour to test drive the products in your workout gear. Trial those that are even out of your budget so you can feel what you’re paying extra for and consider if you actually need it.

Be Truthful To Yourself

Too often people choose a handful of fitness items that would fit their needs best, but then they keep pushing toward another piece of equipment that was the “it “ item at that time. This product may not be the right product for your needs. Ask yourself, what is the best cardio or exercise machine? It’s the one that you will use.

Keep It Simple

Sales consultants may start by mouthing off, using tech terms and specs that may not be totally needed. What machines will help you achieve your goals based on the answers to the qualifying questions? Supporting info behind product choices is welcomed but no need to get into full details unless you’re asking for it for or need to know for a specific reason.

Love It Or Leave it

There are many home fitness options to choose from, so look at this as an investment in your health. A high-quality unit will last you many years and you will be so glad took the extra time you made on a venture that yields results for years to come.

EXPERT: Chris Baran is a former competitive bodybuilder with 22 years of sales experience in the fitness equipment sector